COPYCAT RESTAURANT STYLE MEXICAN RICE — This easy to make side dish tastes just like the rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant.
It is not exaggeration to say I’ve been trying to replicate the rice from our favorite Mexican restaurant for years. I think I’ve finally done it with this Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice!
My 17 year-old son is an especially big fan of Mexican rice, so I made sure to ask his opinion. He wholeheartedly agreed that this was the closest to the restaurant version I’ve ever made.
This is the best Mexican rice recipe. Reminds me of the Baja style I used to get in Southern California. I cannot find good Mexican rice in North Carolina.
I made this recipe and WOW!!! Soooo good! It’s perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will be using it for years to come. ~ DPH
He also couldn’t stop raving about this rice. And everyone else in the family loved it too. It’s pretty much the perfect side for any Mexican fare you serve.
And this rice is honestly so easy to make. There are just a few extra (but important) steps beyond making plain white rice, and you’ll have a delicious side dish on the table in about 30 minutes.
The key is to toast your rice in the pan before adding your spices and cooking liquid. It give the dish such a wonderful, nutty flavor.
I did quite a lot of experimenting to get the blend of seasonings and tomato sauce just right in this recipe.
And while I’m sure there are many variations of Mexican rice out there, this is the version we think is closest to our local Mexican restaurant.
This is so delicious that I’m planning dinners based on what goes well with this rice!!! ~Ashley
I really can’t tell you how excited I am about this recipe. If you’ve been looking for a great Mexican rice recipe, you must give this one a try.
I hope you love it as much as my family does. It’s now a “must make” every time we have Mexican food for dinner.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT COPYCAT RESTAURANT STYLE MEXICAN RICE
Wow! This Mexican Rice recipe is exactly what I have been looking for. It was just perfect in every way! I have pinned it and will return again and again to it. Thank you so much! ~ Donna
I had planned on buying an easy prep package of mexican-style rice to have as a side this evening but I forgot. I went online to see if I had enough to toss a rice dish together with what I have on hand. Alas, no tomato sauce but I did have tomato juice…..This dish was delicious. As I generally have tomato sauce on hand and not tomato juice, I will make it again as directed. But, it was great even with my needed substitutions. ~ Dianne
Be sure to save this Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice
- Produce: garlic, onion, fresh cilantro
- Spices: cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper
- Tomato sauce
- Chicken broth
Copycat Restaurant Style Mexican Rice
This easy to make side dish tastes just like the rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 1/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until just golden. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, pepper and cayenne and cook a few minutes more.
- Stir in onions and cook until onions are tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork. Stir in cilantro.
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Who Dished It Up First: This is an original recipe
I had planned on buying an easy prep package of mexican-style rice to have as a side this evening but I forgot. I went online to see if I had enough to toss a rice dish together with what I have on hand. Alas, no tomato sauce but I did have tomato juice (just used more of it but decreased broth to compensate) and no fresh cilantro so it got a dash of coriander when the other spices were added. My chili powder is a homemade mix with a bit of heat and smokiness in it.
This dish was delicious. As I generally have tomato sauce on hand and not tomato juice, I will make it again as directed. But, it was great even with my needed substitutions.
This is so delicious that I’m planning dinners based on what goes well with this rice!!! I’ve been using enchilada sauce in place of tomato sauce just because I always have it on hand. My favorite thing to make with the leftovers is breakfast burritos. Put a little butter on a frying pan and add a scoop of rice. Cook some scrambled eggs, add some shredded cheese, and wrap it in a tortilla!
Thank you! We love it too! And I LOVE the enchilada sauce idea!
This is the best Mexican rice recipe. Reminds me of the Baja style I used to get in Southern California. I cannot find good Mexican rice in North Carolina. It always has too much tomato and tastes more like Spanish rice. I made this recipe and WOW!!! Soooo Good! It’s perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I will be using it for years to come. (Lord willing and the creek don’t rise as they say out here)
Blessings to you!!
Wow! This Mexican Rice recipe is exactly what I have been looking for. It was just perfect in every way! I have pinned it and will return again and again to it. Thank you so much!
Can you use minute rice?
This is hands down the best Mexican rice recipe I’ve come across-and I’ve been trying different ones for years! Most are too tomato-y or don’t have enough flavor, but this one is PERFECT. Just like at my favorite Mexican restaurants!
I made this tonight. It came out perfect! So yummy and just like when we eat out. Thank you for a great add to our dinnertime routine.
Excellent recipe! I had 4 people over for dinner and everybody raved about this rice. Thanks for sharing!
I am trying to find a recipe for making Papas and Beer rice. These restaurants are in the Western part of the state and now in SC I live in NC and it is the best rice I’ve ever had by far. Very simple, limited ingredients.
I’ve lived in Texas my entire life and have never tasted Mexican style rice this good. My husband would seriously eat this every night. If I modify the recipe at all, I’ve added scallions when I’m out of cilantro. It’s on the menu tonight with the enchiladas. 🙂
I worked in the kitchen at Don Pablo’s Mexican restaurant in the early 00’s and I gotta say, you are NOT far off from our recipe at all. This is the closest recipe to what I remember on the whole internet. The main differences I see are that we cooked ours in a large tilt-skillet, not pans, and we also used ZERO tomato. We did brown the rice in some butter just like you did, and Don Pablos rice had onion, chicken stock, and green chiles (diced) along with the “spice mix” which is basically like you said, mostly cumin, paprika, garlic powder, salt and a dash of chili powder. OF course in a big chain restaurant like that, it came in bags that said “rice spice mix” but you have all the components here. So yeah, remove the tomato sauce and add green chilis instead and you have DP’s rice. Good recipe and I cannot wait to try yours.
The ABSOLUTE BEST!!!
Love love love this recipe. So simple with huge flavor. I sub vegan “not chicken” stock and it’s perfect. Makes a great burrito filler too.
I used my Instant Pot to make this rice. I reduced the Chicken broth to 1 cup. Cooked on high pressure for 3 minutes w/ natural release. It came out amazing !!
Our family favorite Spanish Rice! Thanks!
Do I use long grain rice or minute rice?